Wednesday, June 08, 2005


Containing a tradition of closing their eyes and covering their ears when facts trump ideology, the Bush Admin. again edited out those annoying facts and adjusted phrasing in papers about global warming.

The culprit with the black highlighter this time was Philip A. Cooney. Brace yourself for a shock - he used to be a lobbyist for the American Petroleum Institute. Brace yourself for ANOTHER shock - he has no scientific experience and yet somehow is now the Chief of Staff for the White House Council on Environmental Quality! How DO you suppose he got THAT job??

Mr. Cooney inserted words like "extremely" and "significant and fundamental" before any expression of uncertainty or qualifications. He also decided that a paragraph about the projected reduction of glaciers and snowpack just shouldn't be there - must have dragged down the plot or something. Here's a paragraph from the article to show how Mr. Cooney tilted the words:

Mr. Cooney's alterations can cause clear shifts in meaning. For example, a sentence in the October 2002 draft of "Our Changing Planet" originally read, "Many scientific observations indicate that the Earth is undergoing a period of relatively rapid change." In a neat, compact hand, Mr. Cooney modified the sentence to read, "Many scientific observations point to the conclusion that the Earth may be undergoing a period of relatively rapid change."

Cardinal Ballarmine's groupies - excuse me, the Bush Admin. once again shows that when it comes to science, there are no facts that matters less than those they disagree with. Chris Mooney - whose blog I visit daily - has a book coming out about this and other Republican evasions of the truth when it goes against ideology. Check it out, and pre-order it.

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